Most people have some kind of presence on the Internet, if not, likely you’re in prison, dead, or too old or young to care. That weeds out the small percentages that are not representative for most of us. Seemingly, our willingness to share everything about ourselves to anyone, known or not, may be as insidious, if not perplexing as putting yourself in front of a “firing squad”.
Does anyone remember what information about them has been distributed, or what they have written sober, not so sober, mad, or whatever the circumstances may be; and the list does goes on? We have all heard by now that it doesn’t go away; that it will be around forever, and so forth and so on. If that is not enough to slam on the sharing-brakes, then we must be both smart and as diplomatic, even in the worst of times, or share things which no one wants to read, which most certainly will not be the case.
But sharing is just part of the paradigm that should concern us. Privacy has become such an issue it threatens to undo all we thought was good about instant and global communication, time saving paperwork, collaboration, and related costs of doing business. The real question is; now that the unknowns have all of our information, what are they going to do with it? See (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: Empowering Consumers. Protecting Privacy)
Businesses, organizations, individuals, criminals, and law enforcement have found it useful, if not imperative, to collect, and yes distribute/sell our personal information to gather intelligence on what we purchase, our credit; good or bad, our interests; where we go on the Internet, and what we do with that information once we arrive. Not only is it information gathering, now with LBS (Location Based Service), the known and unknown can pinpoint where we are at any given time. That could be dangerous especially for those wishing us no good. At the same time there are life saving uses for LBS, including search and rescue just to mention one. See (FTC looks into Internet Privacy Issues with ‘Do Not Track’ List)
Debating the issue of Internet Privacy has now become a “center stage” issue as recent incidents of those wishing ill to others has hit home with congressional leaders. This seems most poignant to those in the public eye since their information and whereabouts are most subject to interest of anyone with diminished capacity or other nefarious motives. Will everyone need to hire a body guard in the future just because we thought shining a light on our careers, personal lives, businesses, and organizations would bring ultimate success? See (Teen Violence, School Shootings, Internet Addiction, Bullying, TV Violence, Internet Predators & Teen Suicide: Facts, Ideas, and Actions)
The question must be answered. How do we manage an out-flow of proprietary information so as not to endanger ourselves and others? What laws need to be passed to protect the public from an information sharing society; one that depends on personal and business collaboration to be successful? Those questions need to be debated resulting in realistic guidelines being adopted, ones that strike a balance between good commerce and public safety. What matters most now is how to control the information that is already in the hands of others and how it can be used. This step will take care of the future. See (Internet privacy debate hits Congress)